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MLCC suspends another 8 liquor licenses, including Andiamo Warren


Melody Baetens   | The Detroit News

The state of Michigan has suspended the liquor licenses for eight more bars and restaurants in the state for violating the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services emergency order banning indoor dining. 

Among the eight businesses is Andiamo Italia's Warren restaurant. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission issued an emergency suspension of its Class C liquor license on Thursday, exactly one week after owners Joe and Rosalie Vicari hosted a Zoom meeting to discuss an initiative calling for a compromise with the state government to reopen indoor dining rooms, which have been ordered closed since Nov. 18.  

The Dec. 3 virtual meeting came days after a letter from Joe Vicari to local restaurant owners leaked to the media. He called for them to “band together and fight back” as a group if the pause on indoor dining was extended. The Zoom call later that week set a softer tone and urged fellow restaurant owners not to defy the law. 

Along with Andiamo’s Warren restaurant, the MLCC Tuesday also announced the emergency suspension of liquor licenses at Spanky’s Tavern in Battle Creek, Polski’s Pub and Grub in Clinton Township, Kal-Ho Bar in Kalkaska, Dex’s Loggers Landing in Luther, Charlie’s Bar & Grill in Potterville, Plaza Lanes in Plymouth Township and Hatorando Sushi and Sports Bar in Hartland. 

The MLCC says the businesses have "multiple violations" of the MDHHS order including "allowing non-residential, in-person gatherings; providing in-person dining; failure to require face coverings for staff and patrons; and failure to prohibit patrons from congregating."

The emergency suspensions were issued between Thursday and Monday. The licensees are scheduled to appear before an Administrative Law Judge via Zoom this month on various dates. 

"Any licensed establishment that is in violation of the MDHHS emergency order will be held strictly accountable and risk suspension or revocation of its license," reads a statement sent by the MLCC on Tuesday. "All licensees must not only comply with the MDHHS Orders, but also local health department orders, and local ordinances regarding reduced occupancy rates and social distancing protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic."

According to the MLCC, the commission has suspended 21 liquor licenses since September for violations of the emergency and executive orders related to the pandemic. 

The temporarily ban for movie theaters and casinos, and on indoor dining at bars and restaurants to curb the spread of COVID-19 was issued by the MDHHS in mid-November and on Dec. 8 was extended through Dec. 20

More: Extended ban on indoor dining, casinos intensifies paycheck, closure worries

More: Andiamo owners call for compromise, but not to defy government

More: Another restaurant loses liquor license for COVID-19 violations

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens